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Top Plastic Surgeon Schools in the United States

Learn about residency programs for plastic surgeons, the medical doctors who use corrective surgery to address aesthetic issues and functional impairments caused by congenital conditions or diseases. Read brief summaries of the training provided by four top schools, and find a table that lists other noteworthy colleges and universities that offer programs in plastic surgery.

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School Information

Among the three institutions summarized below, students will find two Ivy League schools: Harvard University and Yale University. In general, doctors-in-training can complete integrated residency programs that include experience in general and plastic surgery, or independent residency programs in plastic surgery that take place after a 4-year general surgical residency. Clinical experiences can include exposure to cosmetic or oncologic surgery. Residents may also have the opportunity to conduct research.

1. Harvard University in Cambridge, MA

School Highlight: The Harvard Plastic Surgery Training Program was founded in 1999 by the coming together of various programs at hospitals in Boston.

The university offers a residency program in plastic surgery, during which residents rotate among five teaching hospitals. In tandem with education and research activities, students complete clinical experiences in reconstructive, craniofacial and oncologic surgery. Clinical training in cleft, aesthetic and breast surgery is also provided, along with practice in microsurgical techniques. The plastic surgery program at Harvard yields two tracks: an Advanced Program; and an Integrated Plastic Surgery/General Surgery Program.

2. Yale University in New Haven, CT

School Highlight: The residency program at Yale is accredited by the Residency Review Committee in Plastic Surgery.

Yale University's School of Medicine offers a 6-year residency program in plastic surgery. Once admitted, students learn how to perform oncologic and cosmetic surgery and treat burns, microvascular issues and head traumas. Students also have the opportunity to research hard and soft tissue growth and repair, hand surgery and telemedicine.

3. Stanford University in Stanford, CA

School Highlight: Rotating residents in this program will alternate between seven places, including Stanford University Hospital, Kaiser Santa Clara, and Palo Alto Veterans Hospital.

The Stanford School of Medicine offers a residency program in plastic and reconstructive surgery that requires clinical training and a research or international service component. In general, the program takes over five years to complete. Once enrolled, students receive training in microsurgery, hand surgery and craniofacial surgery, among other related areas.

Top Plastic Surgery Schools

School Name Distinction Location
Dartmouth College Offers 6-year combined general and plastic surgery residency, as well as a 3-year plastic surgery residency Hanover, NH
Duke University Clinical training takes place at a Level I trauma center Durham, NC
Johns Hopkins University Offers independent or integrated residencies and burn or craniofacial surgery fellowships Baltimore, MD
Pennsylvania State University - Hershey One of the oldest facilities in the nation treating cleft conditions in children Hershey, PA
University of Miami Residents have clinical or science-based research requirement Coral Gables, FL
University of North Carolina Offers 6-year plastic surgery residency Chapel Hill, NC
University of Virginia Independent and integrated plastic surgery residency programs offered Charlottesville, VA
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